The project “Moldova Against All Discrimination” implemented by Equal Rights and Independent Media ERIM (former IREX Europe) benefits from EU support and helps a network of librarians from across Moldova, namely in Chișinău, Strășeni, Fălești, Scoreni, Ungheni and Ialoveni. Since November 2020, six librarians received small grants to organise a variety of discussion forums to raise issues of gender equality in their local communities.

All public discussions were organised with the support of the local town halls and aimed to raise awareness about women’s rights. The topics of the discussions encompassed a wide range of topics, from fundamental principles of feminism to very practical guidance which of interest to the participants. For example, how to organise domestic finances (some women receive money from abroad and do not know how to organise their spending habits), how to deal with an alcoholic family member, project development (many have skills for homemade crafts which they could build on), dealing with domestic violence, and coping with depression for you and family members.

Each librarian has chosen their own focus in an area related to gender equality. For example, in Ungheni the participants of the round table moderated by librarian Aliona Manciu explored the definitions of gender equality, women’s empowerment and feminism in the Moldovan context using the local sex-disaggregated data. They discussed how they can become active actors of change transforming the role of women in their communities. In Ialoveni one of our grantees set up the discussion around the idea of “bringing human rights home”, emphasising the importance of respectful and non-discriminatory behaviour in the private sphere and how not to fall into reproducing discriminatory practices.

Photo: Round table “A woman – an agent of change in the community“ in Măcărești (Ungheni), 25 November 2020